New warning over poor parking after fire engines blocked

Badly parked cars could cost lives, Shropshire emergency service officials have warned.

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The alert follows several cases in Shrewsbury and Market Drayton where fire crews could not access properties because of badly parked cars.

The latest happened on Saturday where a crew based in Market Drayton had to wait for people living in Frogmore Road in the town to come out of their homes and move their vehicles before it could reach a house.

It later transpired an electrical fault was behind the alarm being raised shortly after 7.30pm and that there had been no major fire.

Malcolm Stevenson, speaking for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is a long standing issue and tends to be a year round problem in certain parts of Shropshire where we have a number of Victorian streets. One of the major problems is cars parked too close to junctions.

“We recently had a problem in Castlefields in Shrewsbury where badly parked vehicles stopped the fire service from getting within 100 metres of a small fire.

“Fire engines are big vehicles which need lots of room to get round corners and down narrow roads.

“In Market Drayton, crews had to run down the street with heavy hoses as they could not reach the property. This is an issue which affects everyone – it could be your home that needs the help next.”

Mr Stevenson said he would appeal for people to think about making sure there is enough room for the emergency services before parking.

He added: “We understand that people want to park outside their properties but we just want them to think carefully.

“Luckily none of the incidents have resulted in any serious consequences yet but that could change.”

Constable Mick Sturland, of Market Drayton’s safer neighbourhood team, has also urged people to think about where they park.

He said: “I am very aware that a lot of narrow side roads around Market Drayton were not designed for the amount of cars now present and also have no parking restrictions in place.

“That said, I would ask for people who live in such streets to consider whether they would be happy with a delayed response from the emergency services due to being unable to physically get to the emergency.”